Thanksgiving meal tradition returned at Friendly House

Local News

The turkey was roasted and carved to perfection. Mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls and desserts galore were served. A traditional family get-together for Thanksgiving? Not exactly. A community family came together Tuesday to celebrate the holiday at a longtime Quad City tradition.

The Friendly House in Davenport hosted its annual Thanksgiving luncheon, and old and new friends came together to share a meal in celebration of the upcoming holiday. It was a far cry from last year, as the pandemic forced the cancellation of the event that has been going on for over 40 years. For many involved, this is their only Thanksgiving celebration.

Community members gathered at the Friendly House to celebrate Thanksgiving (photo by Brian Weckerly)

“Most of the people that are here today have been coming for years and years,” Janece Hicks,
Family and Senior Services Supervisor for the Friendly House and head of the event, said. “Many of them don’t have friends and families to spend this holiday with. I know that for some of them, this is their Thanksgiving.”

Community members shared a Thanksgiving meal at the Friendly House (Photo by Brian Weckerly)

To put together a luncheon for 75+ is no easy undertaking. There has to be enough food and volunteers, and raffle prizes, all sensible gifts for the home, and holiday cheer to welcome the Friendly House family to a Thanksgiving celebration. It’s a challenge Janece Hicks welcomes.

Community members shared a Thanksgiving meal at the Friendly House (Photo by Brian Weckerly)

“The biggest challenge is just securing enough sponsorship to offset the cost of everything that we need,” Hicks said. “Our friends, our neighbors; that’s what keeps me motivated. It’s our mission here at Friendly House to be here to support our families that come, to help those that need help, as much as we can.”

Founded in 1896, the Friendly House serves all ages as a neighborhood center, and its doors are open to all of those in need. For more information on the Friendly House, click here.


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